62 THE QUEENS COURIER • HEALTH • OCTOBER 5, 2017 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
It's time to get a grip on a painful hand disorder
We all rely on our hands to a certain
extent. So what would you do if you had
a medical condition that caused your fi ngers
to bend, making everyday tasks like
gripping a doorknob or shaking someone’s
hand diffi cult and awkward?
Th at is something all too familiar for
four-time PGA TOUR winner, Tim
Herron. For the last 24 years, Tim has
been a professional golfer and relies on
his hands to make a living.
“When a ball comes off the club face,
it’s the best feeling a golfer can possibly
have. And the fi rst thing that feels it is
your hands,” Tim said. “Th e hands are the
most important part of the game.”
What many of Tim’s fans don’t know
is that he lives with a progressive, potentially
disfi guring hand condition called
Dupuytren’s Contracture. It aff ects a layer
of tissue underneath the palms, and causes
one or more fi ngers to move into a bent
position. As the condition gets worse,
everyday tasks can become more diffi cult.
“One of the fundamentals of a great golf
swing is a proper grip. Having this hand
condition could literally be a game-changer
for me. Th at is why I’m encouraging
people to get educated about Dupuytren’s
Contracture,” Tim said. Recently, Tim
teamed up with Endo Pharmaceuticals on
the Facts on Hand campaign to spread the
word and let everyone know it’s time to
“get a grip” on this condition.
Dupuytren’s Contracture is a common
hand condition. Yet people can live with it
without being diagnosed because they mistakenly
assume they have arthritis or another
hand condition. Also known as “Viking
Disease”, Dupuytren’s Contracture can run
in families, especially those of Northern
European descent like Tim’s.
Tim is lucky his condition has not
aff ected his golf game. But he has seen
how it can aff ect the people he loves.
Both his sister and dad, also fellow golfers,
have the condition and can no longer
play competitive golf as they once did.
Because of Tim’s family history, he started
the conversation with his doctor a few
“As we get older, our health is even
more of a priority. For me, being proactive
and learning about my condition is
important as well as playing and enjoying
my life’s passion - golf,” says Tim. “If
you think you might have Dupuytren’s
Contracture, then it’s important that you
talk with a hand specialist or hand surgeon
who can properly diagnose the condition.”
To learn more, visit www.FactsonHand.
Survey results show fewer than half of U.S. women
taking recommended vitamins prior to pregnancy
Prenatal vitamins are an important
part of pregnancy, supporting the health
of both moms and babies. While the
“dos” and “don’ts” of health and nutrition
during pregnancy are familiar, it is
also important to focus on these before
becoming pregnant. For example, taking
the recommended multivitamins before
pregnancy can help prevent certain birth
Taking a multivitamin or prenatal vitamin
containing 400 micrograms (mcg) of
folic acid every day before pregnancy can
prevent serious birth defects of the brain
and spine. Some studies show that folic
acid also may help prevent heart defects
and defects to a baby’s mouth, called cleft
lip or palate.
Almost half of pregnancies in the U.S.
are unplanned, so health experts recommend
that women of childbearing age take
a daily multivitamin containing folic acid,
even if they are not trying to get pregnant.
A new survey conducted by the March
of Dimes shows that only 34 percent of
women ages 18-45 said they started taking
a multivitamin or prenatal vitamin
before they knew they were pregnant.
Th is number is even lower for Hispanic
and African American women - dropping
to 27 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
Th e survey, conducted through a partnership
of the March of Dimes and
Mission Pharmacal, found that further
education is needed so that all women
are aware of and understand the key factors
that contribute to a healthy pregnancy
and birth outcomes.
“While it tends to shock some
Americans, more than 120,000 babies,
or three percent of all births, will be born
with birth defects in the United States this
year,” said Stacey D. Stewart, President of
the March of Dimes. “Th e results of this
survey serve as a reminder of the importance
of continually informing women of
the benefi ts of taking a multivitamin with
folic acid both before and during pregnancy
to improve their own health and
that of their future family.”
Th e March of Dimes says that up to
seven in 10 of the 3,000 serious birth
defects of the brain and spine that occur
each year in the U.S. each year could be
prevented if all women capable of having
a baby took daily multivitamins containing
adequate folic acid.
Aft er pregnancy begins, the folic acid
recommendation increases to 600 mcg
daily. Iron, calcium, vitamin D, DHA
and iodine have also been found to play
a key role in growth and development for
babies during pregnancy.
Prenatal vitamins are multivitamins
made just for pregnant women
and have more of key nutrients needed
during pregnancy. Taking prenatal
vitamins every day, along with eating
healthy foods, can help provide mom and
baby with the nutrients they need before,
during and aft er pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins
are available over the counter or
can be prescribed by a doctor, and some
insurance companies may cover some or
all of the cost of prescription versions of
Visit marchofdimes.org for the latest
health information, resources and tools
for moms and babies.